Revised March 2022
Many customers want to bring a dog. They are welcome on our caravans, but you have to realize there are restrictions.. We have had issues on some trips with them, or more precisely, their owners. In many cases problems can be resolved, but one or two incidents have meant we have to lay down guidelines. Also, the rules in Mexico regarding service dogs are narrower than in Canada or the US. Emotional support dogs are not recognized as service dogs for the most part.
Our General Guidelines on Dogs.
Below are our official guidelines regarding dogs. These rules have evolved due to some negative experiences with dogs on previous trips. The Wagon Master is the final decision maker on any of these guidelines. He is authorized by the company to make the decisions in special circumstances. He is responsible for the enjoyment of all other customers on a tour, without disruption. Most dog issues are usually actually owner issues. A dog you consider a family member, can be a big irritant to the other customers in the caravan. In all cases, the rights of other customers come before those of your dog.
Dogs (except some service dogs - see next paragraph) may not accompany customers on tours without the express permission of the Wagon Master and the agreement of all other customers. We do arrange dog care for dogs at the place of parking where that is possible.
There are some who feel they cannot possibly leave Fido in somebody elses care, especially on longer tours (overnight tours involving a hotel stay for example). As long as you inform us before final payment, we can factor that particular tour out of your cost. We do not rebate for tours not taken, unless pre-arranged. You may factor out one half of a couple, so that one remains behind. This is not unusual. If you find you can take a tour you have opted out of after all, (example another customer agrees to watch your dog) and it is possible to arrange it, you may be able to take the tour a la carte or make a substitution arrangement with another customer who decides to opt out of a tour they have paid for. You must arrange that with the Wagon Master.
Seeing Eye and physical support dogs (ie dogs to support movement) are the only service dogs recognized by Caravanas de Mexico, and they must be backed up with documentation. Those dogs require an approved harness.
Many RV parks where we base overnight tours out of, offer dog care at a cost. They are trustworthy enough to give keys to (so they can put the dog inside your rig overnight). This is the case for Copper Canyon, Mexico City and Hogar Orphanage.
Emotional support dogs are not recognized and are treated as any other dog on the caravan. An emotional support dog is not allowed to go into restaurants, museums, churches and archaeological sites. They are not officially recognized by the Mexican government. The only emotional support documentation we recognize is a signed and dated letter from a registered Mental Health professional (not an MD) containing his contact and license number. In that case we will do our best to accomodate with tours, but any service dog is still subject to our regulations, restrictions by our contractors, Mexican Law and Restaurants. Do not assume we can arrange it. If your emotional condition is such that you require an emotional support animal at all times, you may want to consider if a Mexican caravan is right for you.
If a tour is conducive with taking a dog, with the agreeement of the Wagon Master and the transport company, a small dog under 20 lbs may be taken along on a tour if it is confined to a carrier on any transport and kept on the floor. If other customers have allergic reactions to animals, and separation is not feasible, they may not be taken along. The dog must not be disruptive to the enjoyment of the other customers. It is up to the customer to pay any extra fees required and pay the tour operator for care, if the dog is not allowed on any tour site. This must be pre arranged and approved by the tour operator and the wagon master. Any damage done to the means of transport will be charged back to the customer. All dogs must be kept on a leash, no longer than 5 feet in length. They may not enter most public buildings in Mexico including museums, churches and archaeological sites. Most tours are not appropriate for dogs.
Anyone caught bribing a tour operator or otherwise circumventing the rules will be expelled from the caravan. Only the Wagon Master may deal directly with any tour operator. Customers trying to “short circuit” the Wagon master are subject to expulsion from the caravan.
There may be some tours where a customer may follow a tour bus in their own vehicle with their dog, and participate in the tour, if appropriate. They still have to follow the rules of any tour with regards to access to sites, dining spots, disruption, etc. and be in complete control of their animal. This means they may not be able to participate in all aspects of the tour including any included meal. They are free to pay someone to look after their dog if necessary. Dogs are usually barred from most of the higher class restaurants we use.
We find that frequently a customer will opt out of tour for various reasons and may be willing to watch out for your dog. Most dogs are OK being left in your RV with the windows open, if the RV is large enough. Even if the park has power, one window should still be left open, as power may not be reliable. Heat is usually only an issue in coastal locations. Dogs should not be left inside camperized vans and truck campers as heat in those units may be an issue. A day that starts out cloudy can easily turn sunny. Labor is cheap in Mexico. It does not cost much to pay a local to look after a dog outside your rig for a few hours.
Any dogs barking or otherwise disrupting a tour, will not be allowed on one in future
Dogs are not allowed in swimming pools in RV Parks.
In Mexico, dogs are sometimes allowed in restaurants, especially those on beaches and outside, however dogs are not allowed at meal venues paid for by the company, unless the entire group is in agreement.
It is your responsibility to keep your dog under control at all times on the caravan. Dogs are usually alllowed on beaches and most RV parks have fairly lax rules, comapred to those in the US. This does not mean you may allow your dog to be a nuisance, and you are expected to pick up after it.
Any dog related costs, e.g. dog sitting, damage caused to property, etc. are the responsibility of the owner
Dogs are not allowed on the Copper Canyon Train. We arrange dog care.
Service dogs are allowed, including emotional support dogs. However, the rules are strict and pre-arrangements must be made, and we have to check with hotels we use up there to ensure they are OK with your dog. This has to all be pre-arranged.
These are the rules SET OUT BY THE TRAIN COMPANY
A permit issued, signed and sealed by the Mexican Department of Tourism is required for service dogs to board the train.
This permit must be processed in advance by sending an email with proof of the need to travel with a service dog to [email protected]
Service dogs are animals that are trained to assist a person with a disability or as emotional support. Service dogs travel for free, as long as they are accompanied by their owner and are correctly identified.